In 1993, ArtMattan Productions launched the first African Diaspora Film Festival (ADFF). One of the purposes of the festival was that of presenting
to New Yorkers a more varied choice of films depicting the human experience of
people of color in a context different from the usual museums, cultural centers
and universities to which these films are traditinonally relegated.
We conceived the ADFF as an open event which would be a way to encourage
a critical analysis of people's lives here in the United States
as well as being an open window to other people's lives all over
the world. The producers of the ADFF wanted to contribute to a
more sophisticated analysis of the interaction between art and entertainment.
The African Diaspora Film Festival has been from the start a cultural
event aimed at refusing the marginal status that some narrow minded
people have tried to impose on Black art and culture in this country.
We understand that in a democratic society information is
a valuable tool, therefore the need for Blacks in the US to know about
Black people in other parts of the world as a way to reflect upon and
reconnect with the Blacks of the universe, no matter how diverse they
might be. The Black experience is global. So we have remained committed
to our mission.
The ADFF is today an internationally known film festival that has
gained the respect of those interested in Black films in particular
and good films in general. In the past seventeen years, ADFF has presented
more than 1,000 films focusing on the richness and diversity of the
life of people of color. Some of those films are now distributed
in the United States and Canada by ArtMattan productions.
With no intention of defining a canon, the films in the catalog are as
diverse in genres and styles as any contemporary artistic expression can
be. From the strong "Faraw!, mother of the dunes" by Malian filmmaker
Abdoulaye Ascofare to the joyous "Journey of the Lion" by Fritz Bauman, these
films are snapshots to the incredible range of the lives of people of color
whose life and place in history have been marked by a distinctive sign: the
color of the skin.
These films have enjoyed acclaim in different festivals all over
the world including the African Diaspora Film Festival. They are
components of a movement that has created a strong and diverse cinematic
body of work.
The next aim is that of having these films enjoy a theatrical release and
be supported by the respectable purchasing power of people of color in the
United States of America so we can have a more regular viewing of those
stories that enrich our human experience and enhance our vision of the world.
Give me your hands to lift us up!
Give me your eyes to see us grow!
Give me your soul and we'll have
To go forward and get out of this
Out of ignorance!
Out of disbelief!
Out of those evils that don't let us
live and be free
Peace and love